On February 1st we headed to a low elevation site on Lolo Pass Rd. There was fresh snowfall down at the lower elevations so we wanted to get a chance to survey a low level elevation site while we had the opportunity to. We traveled up East Lolo Pass Rd. until we reached snow and then spent the day tracking.
Here is our fantastic tracking group.
It was a clear and sunny day and to all of our surprise, quite warm as well.
We had a gorgeous view of Mt. Hood all day long.
We started out the day by following some power lines to see what we could find. There was a trail next to the power lines that we followed since animals use trails and roads as they often are the path of least resistance.
Under a large rock we found a nest and scat of a Bushy-tailed wood rat. There were no tracks present in the surrounding snow that we could find so we analyzed the scat. Judging by the size and the contents in the scat coupled with the location and type of nesting area we found we concluded these were evidence of a Busy-tailed wood rat.
Snowshoe hare and domestic dog tracks were the only tracks that we found on our day trip but they made for some excellent teaching moments. Here we are looking at the some varying gaits of a domestic dog. Using tracking sticks we showed and discussed how domestic canine gaits are not as consistent as Coyote and fox gaits.
We had fun heading off trail. We slide down steep hill sides.
Found a beautiful stream and hiked up and followed it for quite a ways as we looked for signs of animals.
We didn't find tracks but we did find some Mountain beaver burrows as well as some branches that were chewed nearby.
Evidence of slugs feeding on lichen was a fun find.
While we did not find any Wolverine tracks we did try our hand at making a snow wolverine. We incorporated an Owl pellet we found into our piece.
It was a wonderful tracking trip and though we did not find many tracks we found evidence of some interesting species we don't see a lot of.
Looking forward to hearing about all of your tracking trips! If you have a story and pictures to share please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share them here on the blog. Thank you!